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Chapter 1

Strategic Management

Chapter Summary
Strategic management is the set of decisions and actions that result in the formulation and implementation
of plans designed to achieve a company’s objectives. Because it involves long-term, future-oriented,
complex decision making and requires considerable resources, top-management participation is essential.
This chapter describes strategic management as a three-tier process involving corporate-, business-, and
functional-level planners, and support personnel. At each progressively lower level, strategic activities are
more specific, narrow, short-term, and action-oriented, with lower risks but fewer opportunities for
dramatic impact.
The strategic management model presented in this chapter serves as the structure for understanding and
integrating all the major phases of strategy formulation and implementation. The chapter provides a
summary account of these phases, each of which is given extensive individual attention in subsequent
chapters. Finally, the chapter stresses that the strategic management process centers on the belief that a
firm’s mission can be best achieved through a systematic and comprehensive assessment of both its
internal capabilities and its external environment.

0Learning Objectives

1. Explain the concept of strategic management.


2. 0Describe how strategic decisions differ from other decisions that managers make.
3. 0Name the benefits and risks of a participative approach to strategic decision making.
4. 0Understand the types of strategic decisions for which managers at different levels of the
company are responsible.
5. 0Describe a comprehensive model of strategic decision making.
6. 0Appreciate the importance of strategic management as a process.
7. 0Give examples of strategic decisions that companies have recently made.

0Lecture Outline

I0. The Nature and Value of Strategic Management

A0. Strategic management is defined as the set of decisions and actions that result in the
formulation and implementation of plans designed to achieve a company’s objectives.

10. Strategic management comprises nine critical tasks:

a0) Formulate the company’s mission, including broad statements about its purpose,
philosophy, and goals.
b0) Conduct an analysis that reflects the company’s internal conditions and capabilities.

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c0) Assess the company’s external environment, including both the competitive and the
general contextual factors.
d0) Analyze the company’s options by matching its resources with the external
environment.
e0) Identify the most desirable options by evaluating each option in light of the
company’s mission.
f0) Select a set of long-term objectives and grand strategies that will achieve the most
desirable options.
g0) Develop annual objectives and short-term strategies that are compatible with the
selected set of long-term objectives and grand strategies.
h0) Implement the strategic choices by means of budgeted resource allocations in
which the matching of tasks, people, structures, technologies, and reward systems is
emphasized.
i0) Evaluate the success of the strategic process as an input for future decision making.

20. As these tasks indicate, strategic management involves the planning, directing,
organizing, and controlling of a company’s strategy-related decisions and actions.

a0) Strategy means managers’ large-scale, future-oriented plans for interacting with
the competitive environment to achieve company objectives.
b0) A strategy is a company’s game plan. It does not precisely detail all future
deployments, but it does provide a framework for managerial decisions.
c0) A strategy reflects a company’s awareness of how, when, and where it should
compete; against whom it should compete; and for what purposes it should
compete.

B0. Dimensions of Strategic Decisions

10. Typically, strategic issues have the following dimensions:

a0) Strategic issues require top-management decisions.

(1)0 Because strategic decisions overarch several areas of a firm’s operations, they
require top-management involvement.
(2)0 Usually only top management has the perspective needed to understand the
broad implications of such decisions and the power to authorize the necessary
resource allocations.

b0) Strategic issues require large amounts of the firm’s resources.

(1)0 Strategic decisions involve substantial allocations of people, physical assets,


or moneys that either must be redirected from internal sources or secured
from outside the firm.
(2)0 Strategic decisions commit the firm to actions over an extended period.
(3)0 Strategic decisions require substantial resources.

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(4)0 In highly competitive service-oriented businesses, achieving and maintaining
customer satisfaction frequently involve a commitment from every facet of
the organization.

c0) Strategic issues often affect the firm’s long-term prosperity.

(1)0 Strategic decisions ostensibly commit the firm for a long time, typically five
years; however, the impact of such decisions lasts much longer, for better or
worse.
(2)0 Once a firm has committed itself to a particular strategy, its image and
competitive advantages are usually tied to that strategy.
(3)0 Firms become known in certain markets, for certain products, with certain
technologies. They would jeopardize their previous gains if they shifted from
these markets, products, or technologies by adopting a radically different
strategy.

d0) Strategic issues are future oriented.

(1)0 Strategic decisions are based on what managers forecast, rather than on what
they know.
(2)0 In strategic decisions, emphasis is placed on the development of projections
that will enable the firm to seek the most promising strategic options.
(3)0 In the turbulent and competitive free enterprise environment, a firm will
succeed only if it takes a proactive (anticipatory) stance toward change.

e0) Strategic issues usually have multifunctional or multibusiness consequences.

(1)0 Strategic decisions have complex implications for most areas of the firm.
(2)0 Decisions about such matters as customer mix, competitive emphasis, or
organizational structure necessarily involve a number of the firm’s strategic
business units (SBUs), divisions, or program units. All of these areas will be
affected by allocations or reallocations of responsibilities and resources that
result from these decisions.

f0) Strategic issues require considering the firm’s external environment.

(1)0 All business firms exist in an open system. They affect and are affected by
external conditions that are largely beyond their control.
(2)0 To successfully position a firm in competitive situations, its strategic
managers must look beyond its operations and consider what relevant others
(competitors, customers, suppliers, creditors, government, and labor) are
likely to do.

20. Three Levels of Strategy

a0) The decision-making hierarchy of a firm typically contains three levels.

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(1)0 Corporate level: composed principally of a board of directors and the chief
executive and administrative officers.

(a) They are responsible for the firm’s financial performance and for the
achievement of nonfinancial goals, such as enhancing the firm’s image
and fulfilling its social responsibilities.
(b) To a large extent, attitudes at this level reflect the concerns of
stockholders and society at large.
(c) In a multibusiness firm, this level determines the businesses in which the
firm should be involved. They also set objectives and formulate
strategies that span the activities and functional areas of these
businesses.
(d) These managers attempt to exploit the firm’s distinctive competencies
by adopting a portfolio approach to the management of its businesses
and by developing long-term plans.

(2)0 The business level is in the middle of the decision-making hierarchy. It is


composed principally of business and corporate managers.

(a) These managers must translate the statements of direction and intent
generated at the corporate level into concrete business objectives and
strategies for individual business divisions (SBUs).
(b) In essence, business-level strategic managers determine how the firm
will compete in the selected product-market arena.
(c) They strive to identify and secure the most promising market segment
within that arena.
(d) This segment is the piece of the total market that the firm can claim and
defend because of its competitive advantages.

(3)0 The functional level is at the bottom of the decision-making hierarchy. It is


composed principally of managers of product, geographic, and functional
areas.

(a) These managers develop annual objectives and short-term strategies in


such areas as production, operations, research and development, finance
and accounting, marketing, and human relations.
(b) The principal responsibility of these managers is to implement or
execute the firm’s strategic plans.
(c) Managers at the functional level center their attention on “doing things
right” (whereas managers at the other levels focus on “doing the right
things”).
(d) These managers address such issues as the efficiency and effectiveness
of production and marketing systems, the quality of customer service,
and the success of particular products and services in increasing the
firm’s market shares.

b0) Exhibit 1.1, Alternative Strategic Management Structures, depicts the three
levels of strategic management as structured in practice.

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(1)0 Alternative 1

(a) Here, the firm is engaged in only one business and the corporate- and
business-level responsibilities are concentrated in a single group of
directors, officers, and managers.
(b) This is the organizational format of most small businesses.

(2)0 Alternative 2

(a) This depicts the classical corporate structure, comprising three fully
operative levels: corporate, business, and functional.
(b) The approach taken throughout this text assumes the use of this
alternative.
(c) Wherever appropriate, topics are covered from the perspective of each
level of strategic management throughout the text.

30. Characteristics of Strategic Management Decisions

a0) The characteristics of strategic management decisions vary with the level of
strategic activity considered.
b0) As shown in Exhibit 1.2, Hierarchy of Objectives and Strategies, decisions at the
corporate level tend to be more value oriented, more conceptual, and less concrete
than decisions at the business or functional level.
c0) Corporate-level decisions

(1)0 Corporate-level decisions are often characterized by greater risk, cost, and
profit potential; greater need for flexibility; and longer time horizons.
(2)0 Corporate-level decisions include the choice of businesses, dividend policies,
sources of long-term financing, and priorities for growth.

d0) Functional-level decisions

(1)0 Functional-level decisions implement the overall strategy formulated at the


corporate and business levels. They involve action-oriented operational issues
and are relatively short range and low risk.
(2)0 Functional-level decisions incur only modest costs, because they depend upon
available resources. They are usually adaptable to ongoing activities and can
be implemented with minimal cooperation.
(3)0 Functional-level decisions are relatively concrete and quantifiable; therefore,
they receive critical attention and analysis even though their comparative
profit potential is low.
(4)0 Common functional-level decisions include decisions on generic versus brand
name labeling, basic versus applied research and development (R&D), high
versus low inventory levels, general-purpose versus specific-purpose
production equipment, and close versus loose supervision.

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e0) Business-level decisions

(1)0 Business-level decisions help bridge decisions at the corporate and functional
levels.
(2)0 Such decisions are less costly, risky, and potentially profitable than corporate-
level decisions, but they are more costly, risky, and potentially profitable than
functional-level decisions.
(3)0 Common business-level decisions include decisions on plant location,
marketing segmentation and geographic coverage, and distribution channels.

C0. Formality in Strategic Management

10. The formality of strategic management systems varies widely among companies.

a0) Formality refers to the degree to which participation, responsibility, authority, and
discretion in decision-making are specified in strategic management.
b0) Formality is an important consideration in the study of strategic management,
because greater formality is usually positively correlated with the cost,
comprehensiveness, accuracy, and success of planning.

20. A number of forces determine how much formality is needed in strategic management.

a0) The size of the organization, its predominant management styles, the complexity of
its environment, its production process, its problems, and the purpose of its
planning system all play a part in determining the appropriate degree of formality.
b0) Formality is associated with the size of the firm and with its stage of development.

(1)0 Some firms, especially smaller ones, follow an entrepreneurial mode.

(a) They are basically under the control of a single individual, and they
produce a limited number of products or services.
(b) In such firms, strategic evaluation is informal, intuitive, and limited.

(2)0 Very large firms usually follow the planning mode.

(a) In these firms, strategic evaluate is part of a comprehensive, formal


planning system.

(3)0 Medium-sized firms in relatively stable environments follow the adaptive


mode.

(a) The identification and evaluation of alternative strategies are closely


related to existing strategy.

c0) It is not unusual to find different modes within the same organization.

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30. The Strategy Makers

a0) The ideal strategic management team includes decision makers from all three
company levels.
b0) Because strategic decisions have at tremendous impact on a company and require
large commitments of company resources, top managers must give final approval
for strategic action.
c0) Exhibit 1.2, Hierarchy of Objectives and Strategies, aligns levels of strategic
decision makers with the kinds of objectives and strategies for which they are
typically responsible.

(1)0 Planning departments are common in large firms, headed by a corporate vice
president for planning.
(2)0 At least one full-time staff member spearheads strategic data-collection efforts
in medium-sized firms.
(3)0 Strategic planning is spearheaded by an officer or a group of officers
designated as the planning committee in small firms or less progressive larger
firms.

d0) Managers at different levels have different responsibilities in the strategic planning
process at the corporate and business levels.

(1)0 Top management shoulders broad responsibility for all the major elements of
strategic planning and management.
(2)0 Top management develops the major portions of the strategic plan and
reviews, and they evaluate and counsel on all other portions.
(3)0 General managers at the business level typically have principal
responsibilities for developing environmental analysis and forecasting,
establishing business objectives, and developing business plans prepared by
staff groups.
(4)0 Exhibit 1.3, Top Strategist, depicts the challenges faced by Fritz Henderson,
the strategies that he led, and the successes he achieved.

e0) A firm’s president or CEO characteristically plays a dominant role in the strategic
planning process. In many ways, this is desirable.

(1)0 The CEO’s principal duty often is defined as giving long-term direction to the
firm.
(2)0 The CEO is ultimately responsible for the firm’s success and the success of its
strategy.
(3)0 CEOs are typically strong-willed, company-oriented individuals.

f0) When the dominance of the CEO approaches autocracy, the effectiveness of the
firm’s strategic planning and management processes is likely to be diminished.
Establishing a strategic management system implies the CEO will allow managers
at all levels to participate.

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g0) In implementing a company’s strategy, the CEO must have an appreciation for the
power and responsibility of the board, while retaining the power to lead the
company with the guidance of informed directors.

(1)0 The interaction between the CEO and board is key to any corporation’s
strategy.
(2)0 Empowerment of nonmanagerial employees has been a recent trend across
major management teams.

D0. Benefits of Strategic Management

10. Using the strategic management approach, managers at all levels of the firm interact in
planning and implementing.

a0) The behavioral consequences of strategic management are similar to those of


participative decision making.
b0) An accurate assessment of the impact of strategy formulation on organizational
performance requires not only financial evaluation criteria but also nonfinancial
evaluation criteria—measures of behavior-based effects.

(1)0 Promoting positive behavioral consequences enables the firm to achieve its
financial goals.
(2)0 Regardless of the profitability of strategic plans, several behavioral effects of
strategic management improve the firm’s welfare:

(a) Strategy formulation activities enhance the firm’s ability to prevent


problems.
(b) Group-based strategic decisions are likely to be drawn from the best
available alternatives.
(c) The involvement of employees in strategy formulation improves their
understanding of the productivity-reward relationship in every strategic
plan and, thus, heightens their motivation.
(d) Gaps and overlaps in activities among individuals and groups are
reduced as participation in strategy formulation clarifies differences in
roles.
(e) Resistance to change is reduced.

E0. Risks of Strategic Management

10. Managers must be trained to guard against three types of unintended negative
consequences of involvement in strategy formulation.

a0) First, the time that managers spend on the strategic management process may have
a negative impact on operational responsibilities. Managers must be trained to
minimize that impact.
b0) Second, if the formulators of strategy are not intimately involved in its
implementation, they may shirk their individual responsibility for the decisions

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reached. Thus, they must be trained to limit their promises to performance that the
decision makers and their subordinates can deliver.
c0) Third, strategic managers must be trained to anticipate and respond to the
disappointment of participating subordinates over unattained expectations.

20. Sensitizing managers to these possible negative consequences and preparing them with
effective means of minimizing such consequences will greatly enhance the potential of
strategic planning.

II0. The Strategic Management Process

A0. Businesses vary in the processes they use to formulate and direct their strategic management
activities.

10. Sophisticated planners have developed more detailed processes than less formal planners
of similar size.
20. Small businesses that rely on the strategy formulation skills and limited time of an
entrepreneur typically exhibit more basic planning concerns than those of larger firms in
their industries.
30. Firms with multiple products, markets, or technologies tend to use more complex
strategic management systems.

B0. Despite differences in detail and the degree of formalization, the basic components of the
models used to analyze strategic management operations are very similar.

10. Because of the similarity among the general models of the strategic management process,
it is possible to develop an eclectic model representative of the foremost thought in the
strategic management area.
20. Exhibit 1.4, Strategic Management Model, serves three major functions.

a0) It depicts the sequence and the relationships of the major components of the
strategic management process.
b0) It is the outline for this book.
c0) The model offers on approach for analyzing the case studies in this text and thus
helps the analyst develop strategy formulation skills.

C0. Components of the Strategic Management Model

10. This section will define and briefly describe the key components of the strategic
management model.

a0) Company Mission

(1)0 The mission of a company is the unique purpose that sets it apart from other
companies of its type and identifies the scope of its operations.

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(2)0 Company mission describes the company’s product, market, and
technological areas of emphasis in a way that reflects the values and priorities
of the strategic decision makers.
(3)0 Social responsibility is a critical consideration for a company’s strategic
decision makers since the mission statement must express how the company
intends to contribute to the societies that sustain it.
(4)0 A firm needs to set social responsibility aspirations for itself, just as it does in
other areas of corporate performance.

b0) Internal Analysis

(1)0 The company analyzes the quantity and quality of its financial, human, and
physical resources.
(2)0 The company also assesses the strengths and weaknesses of its management
and organizational structure.
(3)0 Finally, it contrasts the company’s past successes and traditional concerns
with its current capabilities in an attempt to identify the company’s future
capabilities.

c0) External Environment

(1)0 A firm’s external environment consists of all the conditions and forces that
affect its strategic options and define its competitive situation.
(2)0 The strategic management model shows the external environment as three
interactive segments: the remote, industry, and operating environments.

d0) Strategic Analysis and Choice

(1)0 Simultaneous assessment of the external environment and the company


profile enables a firm to identify a range of possibly attractive interactive
opportunities.
(2)0 These opportunities are possible avenues for investment. However they must
be screened through the criterion of the company mission to generate a set of
possible and desired opportunities.
(3)0 Strategic analysis and choice in single or dominant product/service businesses
center around identifying strategies that are most effective at building
sustainable competitive advantage based on key value chain activities and
capabilities—core competencies of the firm.
(4)0 Multibusiness companies find their managers focused on the question of
which combination of businesses maximizes shareholder value as the guiding
theme during their strategic analysis and choice.

e0) Long-Term Objectives

(1)0 The results that an organization seeks over a multiyear period are its long-
term objectives.

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(2)0 Such objectives typically involve some or all of the following areas:
profitability; return on investment; competitive position; technological
leadership; productivity; employee relations; public responsibility; and
employee development.

f0) Generic and Grand Strategies

(1)0 Many businesses explicitly and all implicitly adopt one or more generic
strategies characterizing their competitive orientation in the marketplace.
(2)0 Low cost, differentiation, or focus strategies define the three fundamental
options.
(3)0 Enlightened managers seek to create ways their firm possesses both low cost
and differentiation competitive advantages as part of their overall generic
strategy.
(4)0 They usually combine these capabilities with a comprehensive, general plan
of major actions through which their firm intends to achieve its long-term
objectives in a dynamic environment. This is called the grand strategy, which
is a statement of means indicating how the objectives are to be achieved.
(5)0 14 basic approaches can be identified: concentration, market development,
product development, innovation, horizontal integration, vertical integration,
joint venture, strategic alliances, consortia, concentric diversification,
conglomerate diversification, turnaround, divestiture, and liquidation.

g0) Short-Term Objectives

(1)0 Short-term objectives are the desired results that a company seeks over a
period of one year or less.
(2)0 Companies typically have many short-term objectives to provide guidance for
their functional and operational activities.
(3)0 Thus, there are short-term marketing activity, raw material usage, employee
turnover, and sales objectives, to name just four.

h0) Functional Tactics

(1)0 Within the general framework created by the business’s generic and grand
strategies, each business function needs to undertake activities that help build
a sustainable competitive advantage.
(2)0 These short-term, limited-scope plans are called tactics.
(3)0 Managers in each business function develop tactics that delineate the
functional activities undertaken in their part of the business and usually
include them as a core part of their action plan.
(4)0 Functional tactics are detailed statements of the “means” or activities that
will be used to achieve short-term objectives and establish competitive
advantage.

i0) Policies that Empower Action

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(1)0 Speed is a critical necessity for success in today’s competitive, global
marketplace.
(2)0 One way to enhance speed and responsiveness is to force/allow decisions to
be made whenever possible at the lowest level in the organizations.
(3)0 Policies are broad, precedent-setting decisions that guide or substitute for
repetitive or time-sensitive managerial decision making.
(4)0 Creating policies that guide and preauthorize the thinking, decisions, and
actions of operating managers and their subordinates in implementing the
business’s strategy is essential for establishing and controlling the ongoing
process of the firm in a manner consistent with the firm’s strategic objectives.
(5)0 Policies often increase managerial effectiveness by standardizing routine
decisions and empowering or expanding the discretion of managers and
subordinates in implementing business strategies.

j0) Restructuring, Reengineering, and Refocusing the Organization

(1)0 Here, the process of strategic management takes an internal focus—doing


work efficiently and effectively.
(2)0 The intense competition in the global market place has made internally
focused questions recast themselves with unprecedented attentiveness to the
marketplace.
(3)0 Downsizing, restructuring, and reengineering are terms that reflect the critical
stage in strategy implementation wherein managers attempt to recast their
organization.
(4)0 The company’s structure, leadership, culture, and reward systems may all be
changed to ensure cost competitiveness and quality demanded by unique
requirements of its strategy.

k0) Strategic Control and Continuous Improvement

(1)0 Strategic control is concerned with tracking a strategy as it is being


implemented, detecting problems or changes in its underlying premises, and
making necessary adjustments.
(2)0 In contrast to postaction control, strategic control seeks to guide action on
behalf of the generic and grand strategies as they are taking place and when
the end results are still several years away.
(3)0 The rapid, accelerating change of the global marketplace of the last 10 years
has made continuous improvement another aspect of strategic control in many
organizations.
(4)0 Continuous improvement provides a way for managers to provide a form of
strategic control that allows their organization to respond more proactively
and timely to rapid developments in hundreds of areas that influence a
business’s success.

D0. Strategic Management as a Process

10. A process is the flow of information through interrelated stages of analysis toward the
achievement of an aim.

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a0) The strategic management model in Exhibit 1.4, Strategic Management Model,
depicts a process.
b0) In the strategic management process, the flow of information involves historical,
current, and forecast data on the operations and environment of the business.
c0) Managers evaluate these data in light of the values and priorities of influential
individuals and groups—often called stakeholders—that are vitally interested in
the actions of the business.
d0) The interrelated stages of the process are the 11 components discussed in the
previous section.
e0) Finally, the aim of the process is the formulation and implementation of strategies
that work, achieving the company’s long-term mission and near-term objectives.

20. Viewing strategic management as a process has several important implications.

a0) First, a change in any component will affect several or all of the other components.

(1)0 Most of the arrows in the model point two ways, suggesting that the flow of
information is usually reciprocal.

(a) The external environment has affected the company’s mission, and the
revised mission signals a competitive condition in the environment.
(example)

b0) A second implication is that strategy formulation and implementation are


sequential.

(1)0 The process begins with development or reevaluation of the company


mission.

(a) This step is associated with, but essentially followed by, development of
a company profile and assessment of the external environment.
(b) Then follow, in order, strategic choice, definition of long-term
objectives, design of the grand strategy, definition of short-term
objectives, design of operating strategies, institutionalization of the
strategy, and review and evaluation.

(2)0 The apparent rigidity of the process must be qualified.

(a) A firm’s strategic posture may have to be reevaluated in response to


changes in any of the principle factors that determine or affect its
performance.
(b) Entry by a major new competitor, the death of a prominent board
member, replacement of the CEO, and a downturn in market
responsiveness are among the thousands of changes that can prompt
reassessment of the firm’s strategic plan.

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(c) No matter where the need for a reassessment originates, the strategic
management process begins with the mission statement.
(d) Not every component of the strategic management process deserves
equal attention each time planning activity takes place.
(e) Firms in an extremely stable environment may find that an in-depth
assessment is not required every five years.
(f) Companies are often satisfied with only a minimal amount of time
addressing this subject.
(g) While formal strategic planning may be undertaken only every five
years, objectives and strategies usually are updated each year, and
rigorous reassessment of the initial stages of strategic planning rarely is
undertaken at these times.

c0) A third implication is the necessity of feedback from institutionalization, review,


and evaluation to the early stages of the process.

(1)0 Feedback can be defined as the analysis of postimplementation results that


can be used to enhance future decision making.

(a) Therefore, as indicated in Exhibit 1.4, strategic managers should assess


the impact of implemented strategies on external environments.
(b) Future planning can reflect any changes precipitated by strategic actions.
(c) Strategic managers also should analyze the impact of strategies on the
possible need for modifications in the company mission.

d0) A fourth implication is the need to regard it as a dynamic system.

(1)0 The term dynamic characterizes the constantly changing conditions that
affect interrelated and interdependent strategic activities.
(2)0 Managers should recognize that the components of the strategic process are
constantly evolving but that formal planning artificially freezes those
components, much as an action photograph freezes the movement of a
swimmer.
(3)0 Since the change is continuous, the dynamic strategic planning process must
be monitored constantly for significant shifts in any of its components as a
precaution against implementing an obsolete strategy.

30. Changes in the Process

a0) The strategic management process undergoes continual assessment and subtle
updating.
b0) Although the elements of the basic strategic management model rarely change, the
relative emphasis that each element receives will vary with the decision makers
who use the model and with the environments of their companies.
c0) A recent study describes general trends in strategic management, summarizing the
responses of more than 200 corporate executives.

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(1)0 This update shows there has been an increasing companywide emphasis on
and appreciation for the value of strategic management activities.
(2)0 It also provides evidence that practicing managers have given increasing
attention to the need for frequent and widespread involvement in the
formulation and implementation phases of the strategic management process.
(3)0 It indicates that, as managers and their firms gain knowledge, experience,
skill, and understanding in how to design and manage their planning
activities, they become better able to avoid the potential negative
consequences of instituting a vigorous strategic management process.

Questions for Discussion

10. Find a recent copy of BusinessWeek and read the “Corporate Strategies” section. Was the main
decision discussed strategic? At what level in the organization was the key decision made?
Student responses will vary. For example, consider the September 5, 2005, article titled, “Chuck
Prince's Citi Planning; The CEO has a strategy for the financial giant. Those who don't like it can
quit” (page 88). It outlines a key issue that Citigroup faces: its stock is down over 10 percent for the
year and it has faced bad press for its poor performance. It also has a new CEO who is trying to
depart from the old strategy at the firm that focuses on acquisitions for growth. The article discusses
why this is a key issue for Citi, and shows how new CEO Charles O. Prince has a new growth
strategy for the firm. Prince's strategy has four prongs: Invest heavily in the consumer businesses,
capitalize on fast-growing international markets, build up the corporate investment bank, and restore
Citi's battered reputation. This is a good article for the instructor to discuss because the company is
going through a phase where it is changing its strategy—a key part of strategic management as a
process. Refer to the chapter section titled “The Strategic Management Process,” beginning on page
10. It highlights some of the problems that a leader can face in setting a new course for the
company, and shows how change can be healthy for the company.
The decisions involved here were made at the highest level in the organization. Because strategic
decisions affect everyone in the organization, and because they require the decision-maker to have
the broadest understanding of the firm, they are often made at the highest organizational level.

20. In what ways do you think the subject matter in this strategic management-business policy course
will differ from that of previous courses you have taken?
Students should be able to identify two differences. The first is the integrative nature of the strategic
management course. All aspects of strategic management involve inputs from various functional
areas and levels in the business (Refer to Exhibit 1.1 on page 6). Students may have taken courses in
any number of these functional areas, including finance and production. Such courses usually
involve “silo” thinking—delving deeply into a specific subject area. The focus in the strategic
management course, however, is on integration.
The second difference is the level in the organization in which strategic decisions are made. Usually
strategic decisions are made at the highest organizational level. Particularly astute students will also
find out that this course is more analytical than some of the other courses they have had. There is
usually no one right answer to most strategic issues.

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30. After graduation, you are not likely to move directly to a top-level management position. In fact,
few members of your class will ever reach the top-management level. Why, then, is it important for
all business majors to study the field of strategic management?
The section titled “Benefits of Strategic Management” (page 9) helps with this discussion. Key
reasons include the following: the strategic management approach used in the text necessitates that
managers at all levels of the firm interact in planning and implementing; participation in the process
enhances the firm’s ability to prevent problems; and involvement in the strategic management
process increases their motivation. Today, most firms use a participatory approach to the strategic
management process. Regardless of what business level students enter upon graduation, they are
likely to participate in the process somehow. Hence it is important to study and understand that
process.

40. Do you expect outstanding performance in this course to require a great deal of memorization? Why
or why not?
The instructor should stress the fact that the subject matter involves a fair amount of analysis. This
is a course that emphasizes application. There is usually no one correct answer in strategy. While
memorization will help students remember key terms or labels, it will not help the students analyze
the problems that a company faces and suggest solutions for these problems.

50. You undoubtedly have read about individuals who seemingly have given single-handed direction to
their corporations. Is a participative strategic management approach likely to stifle or suppress the
contributions of such individuals?
The section titled “Benefits of Strategic Management” on page 9 highlights the advantages accruing
from the participatory nature of strategic management. While the firm’s president or CEO
characteristically plays a dominant role in the strategic planning process, when this dominance
approaches autocracy it could lead to poor results. In a participative style, dominant individuals may
indeed feel stifled; however, in the long run, a participative style may result in several benefits for
the company.

60. Think about the courses you have taken in functional areas, such as marketing, finance, production,
personnel, and accounting. What is the importance of each of these areas to the strategic planning
process?
Functional areas develop annual objectives and short-term strategies. Functional-level strategies (see
“Three Levels of Strategy” on page 5) are used to implement the firm’s strategic plans. Each course
that the student has had in a functional area allows him/her to appreciate this aspect of the strategic
management process and see how that functional area participates. While strategy is an integrative
product, functional areas help implement the strategy.

70. Discuss with practicing business managers the strategic management models used in their firms.
What are the similarities and differences between these models and the one in the text?
It is likely that students will identify differences in the following areas: who formulates the strategy;
how participative is the process; and how formal is the process. In the section “Formality in
Strategic Management” (page 7), the text discusses Mintzberg’s entrepreneurial, planning, and
adaptive modes. Students are likely to encounter firms in each of these modes whose strategic
management style may be different.

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80. In what ways do you believe the strategic planning approach of not-for-profit organizations would
differ from that of profit-oriented organizations?
The basics of strategic planning should be the same for both not-for-profit and profit-oriented firms.
Thus, steps such as developing a mission, external and internal analysis, strategic analysis and
choice, implementation, and control should be common to both types. The content of these steps
would be different, however. The mission statement of a not-for-profit, for example, may not
include all the elements typically found in a profit-oriented firm’s mission. The focus may not be on
explicitly creating a competitive advantage, but on how best to serve the constituency.

90. How do you explain the success of firms that do not use a formal strategic planning process?
Mintzberg’s discussion of the three modes – entrepreneurial, planning, and adaptive (page 8) – can
be used to explain the success of those firms that do not use a formal strategic planning process.
Smaller firms follow an entrepreneurial mode, in that the strategy process is informal, intuitive, and
limited. They may succeed because they are flexible and are created because of a breakthrough
product or service. Also, luck may play a role in the success of some firms that do not have a formal
strategic planning process.

Chapter 1 Think about your postgraduation job search as a strategic decision. How would the
strategic management model be helpful to you in identifying and securing the most
promising position?
The strategic management model (Exhibit 1.4, page 11) can be useful in job hunting. The candidate
needs to have a mission (what he/she wants to do in life), do an external (market) and internal
(personal strengths and weaknesses) analysis and identify the choices available. The choice must be
consistent with the person’s mission and must also give the candidate a competitive advantage in the
job market. Once the desirable position is identified, the candidate must implement his/her strategy
of obtaining the job. The strategic control process provides feedback such as whether the job meets
the candidate’s expectations.

Chapter 1 Discussion Case – “Can Anyone Save HP?”

Case Summary

This case describes the recent turmoil at Hewlett Packard. It depicts ex-CEO Carly Fiorina and her stormy
reign over HP that lasted 6 years and ended with controversy and blame. At the heart of this controversy
was Fiorina’s strategy for the firm: a strategy which conflicted with “expert opinion” from Wall Street
analysts and others tied to HP, including stockholders. Since firing Fiorina in February, the HP board is
searching for a replacement CEO (it has already named CFO Robert P. Wayman as interim CEO). The
crucial question for the next leader is whether or not HP should remain intact. Following Fiorina’s
infamous Compaq acquisition, the board must consider whether HP’s “pieces” would be more profitable
on their own. Separating the dynamic printer division from the lagging computer businesses may be a
smart strategic move. The board currently denies the possibility of a breakup; yet analysts report that the
probability of a breakup is not only present, but rising. By the time Fiorina’s successor takes over, the
forces pushing for breakup may have grown. The logic is this: HP may be trying to do too much with too
little. It is trying to spread too few resources and management skills to compete with the best of the best

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in nearly every tech industry. Investors are likely to push for drastic action—not wait patiently for a
gradual turnaround.
The simplest option is to spin off the computer businesses, which are struggling against Dell and IBM,
and force them to make touch choices to survive independently in that industry. They would no longer
siphon resources from HP’s printing and imaging business, which is the industry’s world leader.
Fiorina was a deeply divisive figure. Employees and colleagues either loved her or hated her, it seems.
When Fiorina arrived at the company (as an outsider from Lucent), she began to reel in HP’s 80-plus
autonomous business units into a more centralized, four-division giant. She eventually laid off tens of
thousands of workers. She began to centrally manage branding and advertising—“streamlining”—where
previously these tasks were handled independently by each business unit. Fiorina drove away talented
executives. She also resisted changing course, something the successful industry leaders could not afford
to do. She seemed to fall in love with her strategy for its own sake. She also continually blamed HP’s
problems on corporate culture.
When Fiorina bought Compaq, she did nothing to HP’s ability to fend off Dell or IBM, though she did
increase HP’s size and scale tremendously. The battle over the Compaq merger embittered Fiorina and
those who opposed her. Factions grew within the company, and eventually Board Director Walter
Hewlett was driven off the board of the company his own father founded.
HP’s current struggles include its non-triumphant partnership with Intel Corp., which was intended to co-
develop the Itanium processor and make it competitive. While it has been developed, it is not particularly
competitive. This puts HP in a position of following in Dell’s shadow. Dell excels in the market for
commodity servers that run on Windows. HP struggles just as much in software and services. The
company is even facing serious challenges in the printing business, where Dell has successfully
introduced low-end ink jet printers, threatening HP’s share of the replacement ink refills market.
HP is going to have to address these problems in its near future. It will also have to keep up an image of
calm and stability while it makes serious changes within its business divisions—even if it clings to the
Fiorina course and does not break up the company. There’s no going back to the way things were before
Fiorina joined the company ranks. One thing is certain—that Carly Fiorina has boldly left her mark on
HP.

Key Issues Addressed

• Understand the benefits and risks of a participative approach to strategic decision making. Please
refer to the section titled “The Strategy Makers” on pages 8-9.
• Identify disappointment over unattained expectations as one negative consequence of subordinates’
involvement in strategy formulation. Please refer to the section titled “Risks of Strategic
Management” on page 10.
• Appreciate the importance of reviewing the effectiveness of the strategic plan—understand strategic
management as a process. Please refer to the section titled “Strategic Control and Continuous
Improvement” on page 14 and “Strategic Management as a Process” on pages 14-16.
• Understand that restructuring, reengineering, and refocusing have a place in organizational strategic
management. Please read the section titled “Restructuring, Reengineering, and Refocusing the
Organization” on page 14.

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Case Discussion Questions

1. Strategy reflects the company’s awareness of how, when, and where it should compete; against
whom it should compete; and for what purposes it should compete. What strategy did Carly
Fiorina adopt for HP? In terms of competition, do you think Fiorina made good choices? Frame
your answer in the context of HP’s industry, markets, and rivals.
The chapter section titled “The Nature and Value of Strategic Management” (pages 3-4) will help
with this discussion. Strategy is the managers’ large-scale, future oriented plans for interacting
with the competitive environment to achieve company objectives. It provides a framework for
managerial decisions, and it demonstrates the company’s awareness of how, when, and where it
should compete. Fiorina was a strong leader whose strategy was not wholeheartedly adopted by
everyone in the company. Her vision was to consolidate HP’s many different businesses into one
large conglomerate that could efficiently and effectively share economies. (Refer to the case,
page 18, paragraphs 14-15.) HP did consolidate, but it also pursued acquisitions that were perhaps
inconsistent with the strategy of strengthening the firm’s competitiveness in its various markets.
HP competed in the printing and imaging, PC, corporate computers, and software businesses. It
competitors included Dell, IBM, and others. Fiorina bought computer maker Compaq, but found
that while it increased the size and scope of HP, it diluted the firm’s ability to compete with the
best in the PC and software industries, and sapped resources from the printing and imaging
powerhouse. (Refer to the case, page 18, paragraph 18.) When it acquired more than a half-dozen
small software companies, foregoing a bigger acquisition, it suffered a loss of money in the
software business (while it is one of the most profitable markets for HP’s corporate computing
rivals). (Refer to the case, page 19, paragraph 28.)
2. 0A firm’s president or CEO characteristically plays a dominant role in strategic planning at the
firm. Explain how this can be desirable in many ways. Also explain what can happen when the
dominance of the CEO is overwhelming strategic decisions. How does this relate to the HP case
and Carly Fiorina? What characteristics do you think the board should look for in determining
Fiorina’s replacement?
The text discussion titled “The Strategy Makers” (pages 8-9) will help with this discussion. The
ideal strategic management team is participative—including decision makers from all three
company levels (corporate, business, and functional). Because strategic decisions have a
tremendous impact on a company and require large commitments of company resources, top
management must give final approval for strategic action. The CEO characteristically plays a
dominant role in the strategic planning process. This is good because the CEO’s principal duty is
defined as giving long-term direction to the firm. The CEO is ultimately responsible for the
firm’s success and the success of its strategy. Furthermore, CEOs are typically strong-willed,
company-oriented individuals. This lends itself to the CEO being passionate about the firm and
being optimistic about its strategic direction.
Sometimes CEOs are blindly optimistic. Sometimes they are dominant to the point of
approaching autocracy. Then, the effectiveness of the firm’s strategic planning and management
processes is likely to be diminished. Fiorina was dominant to the point of creating factions within
HP. People either sided with her or opposed what she was doing to the firm. This divisiveness
drove out family board member and Director Walter Hewlett, who represented “huge swaths of
employees and shareholders” who rose up against Fiorina. (Refer to the case, page 18, paragraph
19.) In implementing the company’s strategy, the CEO must have an appreciation for the power
and responsibility of the board, while retaining the power to lead the company with the guidance
of informed directors. Fiorina had to fight very hard to convince the board that her decisions were
the right ones. Ultimately, she was more autocratic than not, and did not heed the warnings from
company insiders, Wall Street analysts, industry experts, and the like. When the board seeks

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Fiorina’s replacement, they should look for a dynamic, strong-willed person, but they should also
look for someone who wants to please the board and work with it and with the company, rather
than against it. As the case states (page 18, paragraph 12) the board may have difficulty finding a
quality executive simply because they have already stated their commitment to Fiorina’s strategic
plan.

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